Three pears sat on our kitchen benchtop, their skins – and egos – battered and bruised. I could imagine them forlornly twiddling their make-believe thumbs, wondering why nobody in the Rodericks family would take a bite out of them.
I had bought them a week ago so that B could make his famous Pear, Kale and Ginger Juice using his new toy, a cold-press juicer.
Day 1 – Me: “I bought you some pears and kale…”
B: I’ll juice them tomorrow.
Day 3 – Me: “Don’t forget to juice the pears…”
B: I’m late for work. Gotta rush.
Day 6 – Me: “Just make the damn juice, okay?”
B: “The pears are too mushy now. I can’t juice them.”
I had already fed the wilted kale to our worms. (No, they are not our pets; we have a worm farm.) No way was I feeding them three pears as well.
Recipes whirled a dervish in my head. An upside-down pear cake? Pretty as a picture – but the pears were far too ripe. Poached pears in red wine? Ditto. What do you do with pears that are well past their use-by date? I finally settled on baking a Simple Pear Cake for tea.
3 pears; skin peeled, then cored and roughly diced
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garam masala or cinnamon powder
A pinch of salt
150g caster sugar
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Grease and line a medium-size cake tin.
Sift the flours, baking powder, salt and garam masala (a salute to my Indian roots!) . Don’t skimp on the garam masala (or cinnamon). It gives the cake a heady aroma.
In a mixing bowl, soften the butter until almost melted. You can do this on low power setting in your microwave.
Cream the butter and sugar until it turns pale.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the egg batter.
Spoon this into your prepared tin.
Place bits of pear on top, pushing down into the batter. Don’t worry if the pear seems to be all on top; this will sort itself out during baking.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot with a cuppa.
So tell me, what do you like to eat with your cup of tea or coffee? If you had to choose between apples or pears, what would you pick?